In the last couple of weeks. the Standard-Examiner has run several articles about Ogden's former mayor, Matthew Godfrey. In my opinion, the fingerprint he left on the office after twelve years was that the end justifies the means. If he believed in an idea then it was full throttle and if it meant skirting the city council to make it happen, so be it. When reading the article on January 4, ("Ogden mayor bids farewell") he stated that he felt bad about what his critics had done to his family name. I actually had sympathy for the man. I then turned to the editorial page and read Dan Schroeder's commentary about Godfrey and it all came back ("Old and new mayors have both accepted tainted contributions").
The former mayor is a classic example of what is wrong with American politics, and it's the money. At the conclusion of Dan's article, I was prompted to remember the recent article on January 2, "Former mayor looks to future." I started to wonder if it was old campaign funds that provided seed money for his new business. Let's see, an economic consulting firm with an unidentifiable partner and only one employee, unless he can talk the former chief of police into jumping on board and no identifiable clients. I think the Standard just gave the former mayor free advertising for his new business. In my opinion, the former mayor is going to sell access to city business that he gained during his twelve years in office.
About three weeks ago, "60 Minutes" ran an expose of our congressional leaders and insider trading. It seems that our elected officials can use information obtained by their position to play the stock market. I might remind everyone that Martha Stewart was sent to prison for doing exactly the same thing.
In Mr. Schroder's article, he also touched on the new mayor's accepting some tainted money. As a DOD, employee I had the opportunity to deal with different defense contractors. I remember receiving a polyester tie from a Boeing representative. My boss found out about it and I was called into a closed door meeting with him and he counseled me on integrity. He explained his feelings about the spirit and the letter of the law. He told me to never put my trusted position of a government employee into question.
I recommend that the new mayor do two things: Return the $3,000 from Mr. Lesham and keep the back door to his office closed to the former mayor. Make him come in the front door like any other citizen.